Theodore Roosevelt (18581919). Through the Brazilian Wilderness. 1914.
faintly spotted throat of this singer of our northern Junes made us almost homesick.
Next day was brilliantly clear. The mules could not be brought in until quite late in the morning, and we had to march twenty miles under the burning tropical sun, right in the hottest part of the day. From a rise of ground we looked back over the vast, sunlit landscape, the endless rolling stretches of low forest. Midway on our journey we crossed a brook. The dogs minded the heat much. They continually ran off to one side, lay down in a shady place, waited until we were several hundred yards ahead, and then raced after us, overtook us, and repeated the performance. The pack-train came in about sunset; but we ourselves reached the Juruena in the middle of the afternoon.
The Juruena is the name by which the Tapajos goes along its upper course. Where we crossed, it was a deep, rapid stream, flowing in a heavily wooded valley with rather steep sides. We were ferried across on the usual balsa, a platform on three dugouts, running by the force of the current on a wire trolley. There was a clearing on each side with a few palms, and on the farther bank were the buildings of the telegraph station. This is a wild country, and the station was guarded by a few soldiers under the command of Lieutenant Marino, a native of Rio Grande do Sul, a blond man who looked like an Englishmanan agreeable companion, and a good and resolute officer, as all must be who do their work in this wilderness. The Juruena was first followed at the end of the eighteenth century by the Portuguese explorer Franco, and not again until over a hundred years had